On Monday 25th October Stop HS2, the national campaigning body against the high speed rail proposals will take their arguments to Westminster where a lobby day has been organised by south Northamptonshire MP, Andrea Leadsom.
She said “I want the Lobby day to allow MPs with their constituency representatives to challenge the case for HS2, as well as to make clear how the current plans would destroy their communities and businesses. I am glad that Philip Hammond has agreed to attend the Lobby Day and hear from affected residents up and down the proposed route.”
Chris Stokes, a Board Member of the Office of Rail Regulation who will speak at the lobby day said “Parts of the HS2 business case make it feel like taking penalty kicks with no goalkeeper.”
In the view of Stop HS2’s Joe Rukin “Every time we point out the flaws in the case for HS2, the Government change their arguments. Philip Hammond was saying the business case is robust, but now is saying a revised case will be put to public consultation. It is clear the Government just considers the consultation to be a legal hoop they have to jump through. There is provision for £1.5bn worth of spending before the Hybrid Bill is due to have gone through Parliament. How they can spend that level of money before a single sod has been turned is beyond us, but we know they will use this as an excuse for HS2 having to go ahead.”
“It is amazing that the Government are still willing to go ahead with this when everything else has been cut. They saying it will regenerate the regions, but the key study conducted for HS2 Ltd by Imperial College states that the amount of new economic growth created by HS2 would be ‘very small indeed’. This is all about pandering to a very small number of businessmen who want to go to and from Europe without having to change trains in London.”